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An ABC book for kids about NYC's biggest borough - STRETCH GOAL TO GET IT IN EVERY SCHOOL Read more

Queens, NY Art Books
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This project was successfully funded on May 16, 2014.

An ABC book for kids about NYC's biggest borough - STRETCH GOAL TO GET IT IN EVERY SCHOOL

Queens, NY Art Books
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About this project

Q is for Queens is an ABC book filled with the amazing, strange and world-famous icons of New York's biggest borough.

/////////// The stretch goal /////////////

Since posting Q is for Queens for your support, the project caught fire. Not only did we surpass our goal in a few days but I've heard from a litany of influential Queens elected officials and cultural institutions with their support. 

We can go further than printing this thing. We can put Q is for Queens and all the varied, interesting, peculiar, famous and historic icons from Queens in the museums, schools and libraries all over the borough. 

In this age of digital, a beautiful, hardback illustrated printed book is a monument to ideas. If we believe in the story it tells -- about our borough -- then lets get hundreds of copies of the book installed in every place the kids and public learn about their history, culture, and community.

We need to reach $35,000. Help.

So the stretch goal - spread the word, tell your friends, we need their help -- if we reach $35,000 pledged we will be able to reward every backer AND get a copy of the book into every Queens arts institution, museum, school and library. We did the math, contacted some folks, and they are ready to receive our entry into the Queens logbooks. So let's get out there!

The Weinstein Brothers. Hollywood superduo. From the borough.
The Weinstein Brothers. Hollywood superduo. From the borough.

/////////////// The original post ///////////

Help make this real -- for you, for us, and for Queens. Support -->

or 

Send in an awesome person/place/thing to include. Support --> 

or

Be a co-author with me! Check out the last Support reward -->

Hi there, I'm Amol. Lifelong New Yorker. Born and raised in Queens. I've lived in Jamaica, Little Neck, Long Island City. 

I've roamed the streets of Forest Hills, Jackson Heights, Flushing, Astoria, Rockaway. Had lemon ice in Corona. Made giant bubbles at the Hall of Science. Seen the Mets lose and win (1986!).

I rode the LIRR to high school in "the city", told people I grew up near Gatsby's house in West Egg, fell asleep on the 7 round trip, bought my first computer on Northern Boulevard, remember when Western Beef was as awe-inspiring as the Whole Foods. Been to the Steinway Piano factory. Archie Bunker's house. Snuck into the US Open. Everyman's Hamptons in Rockaway. The Goodfellas tiki bar. "I am Queens Boulevard!" The LIE traffic. The "Men in Black" towers at the World's Fair. The cricket matches in Flushing Meadow park. 

Utopia Parkway, anyone? Roosevelt? The Cross Island? Woodside? You know it.

If you are reading this far, maybe you've got fond feelings for this stuff too. 

Awesome.

So maybe you think like I do that our borough needs a little more love and respect to go with its NYC siblings. I've met too many "New Yorkers" who are like "I've never been to Queens". And now that I have two cute kids I want them to know what they should talk about. Queens rules!

P is for Pepsi Cola. The landmark all Manhattan stares at (especially on the FDR)
P is for Pepsi Cola. The landmark all Manhattan stares at (especially on the FDR)

What are we making

We're going to make a beautifully illustrated hardcover children's book. I've been assembling images and Queens icons for quite some time now, and have started the artwork too. 

When it's done we are going to print it on gorgeous amazing hardcover and archival stock, and mail it to you. So you can remind yourself and the kids in your life about the A to Z of Queens with Q is for Queens.

I've got the art part figured out and most of the icons sorted - so that part is well on its way. I still need to find the right printer to partner with here in Queens, so hopefully that part goes well.

A is for Arthur Ashe, B is for Bayside, C is for Cyndi Lauper...R is for Ramones or maybe Rockaway or maybe both! Lots to do as you can see. 

Mets. Mets. Mets. Mets.
Mets. Mets. Mets. Mets.

Why are we making it

If you are wondering why Queens needs a sweet collection of iconic images, posters and memorabilia all wrapped together in a little volume for the next-generation -- well, let's not go there. 

Any borough that was home to Mae West, John Gotti, Jack Kerouac, and Dr. Jay pretty much has to have a book like this. And you need to be part of it!

Geraldine Ferraro, the First Female Vice Presidential Candidate. From Astoria! Icon!
Geraldine Ferraro, the First Female Vice Presidential Candidate. From Astoria! Icon!

Who are we

I gave you a feel for this already I think. But I really was born and raised in Queens. My parents are immigrants (like maybe 70% of Queens residents right?) and when I was born we lived in Jamaica. My brothers and I were halfway grown when we moved to Little Neck/Douglaston/Bayside (for the schools!) and I actually went to high school in the city. When I went off to college I swear I thought I'd never live in Queens again -- tall Manhattan something for me! -- but it was a very short time before I was back. This time in the starting-to-be-hip part -- Long Island City. I live here now and love it.

I've been part of a ton of Queens stuff. I started a blog called LICNYC -- www.licnyc.com which is the oldest LIC blog -- and helped a bunch of Queens organizations like the Queens Paideia School (an experimental school) and the Coalition for Queens (which tries to bring more opportunity and jobs from the tech world to Queens, link). I even helped to build a building in Queens and make it awesome -- East of East (www.eastofeast.com). I work from The Oracle Club often, which is a writer's room in LIC. And a lot of my family still lives around Queens in Forest Hills and Little Neck and thereabouts.

I've assembled some friends -- writers, illustrators, filmmakers, plain old regular awesome people, and hopefully YOU. We are working on this together.

The Best Art Museum in the World. PS1.
The Best Art Museum in the World. PS1.

So why is this a Kickstarter?

I could probably come up with all the ideas and print up the book myself. But then it wouldn't have YOUR ideas in it. And that would be missing awesome stuff. 

And even worse, you wouldn't get a copy. How on earth are you going to hear about this thing? On the local news? Well here you are. Welcome. Now you have heard about Q is for Queens and if you back it you will get a copy (or ten!)

So HELP MAKE Q IS FOR QUEENS. Be a co-author. Or an idea-giver. Or just a fan. Help! Your borough needs you.

The plan and budget

The plan is pretty simple. From March 15 to April 15 we will finish all the drawings and art. Then off to the press! I think we'll safely be able to ship by June sometime. I'm expecting lots of help from artists, designers and editors who are all over Queens. If you have a friend who prints stuff in Queens that would be AMAZING (like the Mets?). Let me know.

Printing

I haven't chosen a printer yet but there are some great ones in LIC. I will work with them on the paper sourcing and printing approach. I haven't chosen all this stuff yet so I'm not 100% sure on how long the prep will be there. But it will get done! Thinking of folks like Big City Graphix. Let me know if you have other suggestions.

World's Largest Fortune Cookie Factory. Believe It. Not in China. Made in Queens.
World's Largest Fortune Cookie Factory. Believe It. Not in China. Made in Queens.
Aerosol museum. The 5 Ptz. Respect.
Aerosol museum. The 5 Ptz. Respect.
Mayor Koch.
Mayor Koch.
C is for Cyndi Lauper. (And her hair dye is from Queens too!)
C is for Cyndi Lauper. (And her hair dye is from Queens too!)
The world's greatest pianos, invented and still made in Steinway, Queens.
The world's greatest pianos, invented and still made in Steinway, Queens.
The best. I'm telling you it's the best.
The best. I'm telling you it's the best.
The legendary studios where they filmed Sex & The City, Sopranos, etc etc etc etc to the King of Queens and beyond.
The legendary studios where they filmed Sex & The City, Sopranos, etc etc etc etc to the King of Queens and beyond.
When Barnum & Bailey comes to NYC, they walk from LIC to MSG.
When Barnum & Bailey comes to NYC, they walk from LIC to MSG.

Risks and challenges

The main thing is printing. I want to make sure we find a printer who can do the right quality at a good cost. I think we are fine here but if we need to re-work the printing that could be some work. I suspect that we have ample time in the schedule for this though -- from April 15 to end of June we'll definitely get it sorted out.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    6 backers

    THE FINEST GIFT. A bright idea. Click this one and just send me over an idea. Something amazing...like Rubie's Costume Shop on Jamaica Avenue or the Clamshell at Forest Park. Memories, please. I'll try to get them in the book. (I would make this one free but the site won't let me. So consider it postage.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    15 backers

    CHEERING FROM THE BLEACHERS. Think Shea Stadium. Thanks for your support! It's awesome to know other people want to help make Q a reality.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    10 backers All gone!

    ON BOARD. Take your pick -- you are an E rider or 7 Express fan. You'll get the letter of your choice as an awesome PDF print that you can print or turn into a wallpaper for your phone or computer.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    100 backers All gone!

    EARLY. PUT ME DOWN FOR ONE PLEASE. You get the hardcover book! First! And then you start showing your friends and they are just like "Wow, that rules." Plus it's a print book so the kids in your life can learn letters and even draw their own letters on it.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    37 backers

    THE BOOK. I WANT IT. MAKE IT HAPPEN. You get the hardcover book! One day you will see the guys with a folding table outside the E train selling this as a xerox-copy and you will think "I've got the real thing." The original. The first pressing. The canonical edition. Smell the Corinthian leather, the hand-set lettering, and other fantasies of printmaking goodness.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    26 backers Limited (24 left of 50)

    MY KID'S NAME STARTS WITH... You get the hardcover book AND you get a PRINT poster! We'll print the letter of your choice on a beautiful artistic archival paper poster (around 11 x 17 - depending on what looks best at the printer's) that you can frame and stick anywhere (not just in a kid's room).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    26 backers Limited (4 left of 30)

    FOR ME AND MY FRIEND. You get two hardcover books and two posters. All the artistic archival paper goodness you can handle times two. Letters of your choice. This is for that gift-giver who loves stuff you can't just buy anywhere.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    THIS IS MY BORO, PEOPLE. You get the hardcover book, you get to suggest something to BE in the book, and you get listed as a co-author. That's right - you couldn't be MORE on the team than that. And don't forget how great it is to just pick anything you love and get it in the book.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    FIRST IN STOCK. QUEENS SHOPS <3 Q TOO. I am a shop or school or organization in the boro and I want a bunch of copies. I'm backing this thing big time and I get a bulk delivery. Back the book here and you get 12 from the first pressing. Plus you get to be THE FIRST SHOP to have the Q is for Queens book. Plus if you make or sell other cool stuff we can Q-ify it together! (PS, I promise further that NO STORE will get the book at all until October 15 2014 unless they back the project here --> so FIRST MEANS FIRST)

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $350 or more

    2 backers

    I'M THE BACKER WHO'S RIGHT UP FRONT. PUT MY NAME DOWN. You get the hardcover books which is gorgeous and you get to suggest something awesome to BE in the book. Plus, your name is inside the front cover with Special Thanks -- you are the backer who went above and beyond we'll do your name in our lovely illustration style and thank you right up front.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,250 or more

    0 backers

    STAMP MY FACE ON IT. I am in and I want to BE in this thing! Back this level and your reward is the hardcover gorgeous print book, *the suggestion of your choice gets included* in the book, plus you get included if you want on the Special Thanks page inside the front cover, plus you get YOU or SOMEONE YOU CHOOSE to turn up in the book somewhere. We're not talking movie star but you will be in one of the pages somewhere smiling out at the world! Queens fan in the Queens book. Every copy, forever. And the further we take Q is for Queens -- the Queens Public Library? Amazon? The National Library? The JFK gift shops...? -- the further you go with it. So: the book, the Queens idea included, and you.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (60 days)